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If there’s one thing that bugs me about the UFC and their way of promoting, it’s their unwavering dedication to consistency. That’s not normally something most people have a problem with, but at a certain point along the way the promotion crossed over from being tightly run to falling into a cookie cutter routine. The production is always the same, the ads are always the same, the posters have very little variance to them. An event held in a rugby stadium in Melbourne, Australia looks almost exactly the same to the viewers at home as an event held in a Newark hockey arena.
My point is there’s not a lot of variance in how the UFC does something once they feel like they’ve got the formula right. So it’s pretty surprising to learn that the fight league is stepping outside of their typical promotional comfort zone and teaming up with Adult Swim to make unique animated commercials for UFC 200.
The first cartoon is by Mike Judge and John Kricfalusi, and features King of the Hill‘s Hank Hill discussing the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier title fight with Ren & Stimpy character George Liquor. Both shows are on heavy Adult Swim rotation, so it’s a creative bit of guerrilla marketing to slip some UFC 200 talk onto TV in a way where it doesn’t even really feel like an ad.
“It’s cool, it’s different,” UFC president Dana White told AdWeek. “Nobody’s ever done it, and I think that targeted fan base is going to like it.”
Judge and Kricfalusi will be making more UFC event commercials for Adult Swim, and the plan is to move away from established characters and invent something completely new for the next batch of ads. We don’t get ‘completely new’ very often with the UFC, so I’m excited to see what other outside the box marketing they’re opening themselves up to over the summer.